Honestly, I don't know what tempt me to watch Season 2 considering that I didn't really like Season 1. In my opinion, season one was like watching a younger batch of "Sex and the City" girls except that it's not funny... it was just trying too hard... Sure there were few laughs here and there from Shoshanna but I just had no clue what these characters are trying to achieve. It's just like watching real life girls do some crazy things.
Season 2 was a complete departure from Season 1. The popular opinion is that it went from great to bad. But I would disagree. Somewhere in the season, I've grown to care about imperfect individuals... flaws and all... no matter how "crazy" and irreverent they can get. Season 2 was able to articulate what they weren't able to do in Season 1: the show is about these girls growing into their own. If Season 1 was about girls pretending to be women who were fully aware about who they want to be and fully comfortable with their own skin, season 2 revealed who they really are and stripped them "bare naked" (literally and figuratively).
I loved how each episodes exposed the vulnerabilities, insecurities, flaws and indecisiveness of Hannah, Shoshanna, Marnie and Jessa. And it's damn beautiful to watch. There were also a lot of funny, memorable and dramatic moments that explodes right in your face.
Jessa finally got a dose of reality after getting married hastily. And it hit her hard: is her lack of willingness to work on a commitment something she got from her dad? Shoshanna, after losing her virginity in Season 1, jumps in into a relationship with Ray only to discover that sometimes love is not the only thing she needs in a man. Marnie who was all high and mighty last season got the rug swept under her feet by losing her job. She also steps back into the dating world only to realize that Charlie actually provided her more than she thought. Though I'm still not convinced that she's all in with Charlie (poor guy!). And Hannah, continuing her exploration of the world believing it will make her a great writer (trying drugs, bunking with her gay ex-bf, dumping her abusive bf, sleeping with a total stranger, etc), was treated to the realities and responsibilities of adulthood. I'm not sure if it will make her wiser but one thing's for sure... it terrified her. Enough that her OCD tendencies re-surfaced. I would agree that this seemed to be all too sudden considering it wasn't even mentioned in Season 1. But it actually made a lot of sense. In season 1, even if there were moments she was being pushed to confront the responsibilities, she had Marnie and Charlie to turn to. Only Lena Dunham knows if getting back together with Adam would actually make her retreat into her shell again.
Sure, they are still unlikable and sometimes, there will be a point that you will hate them but hey, they're being human. A lot argues that Season 2 just weakened these girls from a feminist point of view by portraying them as individuals consumed about relationships. But hello? Most girls in their age are! It doesn't make you less empowered just because you're falling for guys who are complete jerks. Girls in real life really tend to fall for a-holes (especially in their teens and in their 20s. The problem arises when people look into these kind of shows to be the beacon of female empowerment and feminist agendas.
In my opinion, what makes a movie or a show great is its ability to mirror and reflect on things that are relevant today. Portraying the ideal or "what should" tends to get preach-y and boring... fast. And kudos for Girls Season 2 for being able to do just that. And bravo to Lena Dunham and Judd Appatow for cleverly crafting a season that makes you fall in love with "hard-to-love" people.
Oh yes... I love Girls!